Are you really back for week 2? I applaud your enthusiasm.
Saturday, August 13
The rain, oh lord the rain. The local summer festival was cancelled. We went into Lorient and watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Jim Carrey speak French. My children exclaimed loudly at intervals throughout the film. We were surrounded by perfectly silent, perfectly behaved French children.
Sunday, August 14
We went to mass. It went on forever. The children were restive. The French children were, of course, saintly.
We went for a walk in the afternoon through the woods
That evening we attended the rescheduled poissonade (you will recall that it was rained off on the previous evening) where the Princess had mussels and chips and candy floss (sequentially).
And, ultimate poor parenting accolade, the leader of the band had to interrupt his singing to say, “We’ve found a little boy here, his name is Daniel, he’s wearing glasses and a stripy jumper..” Oh dear.
That night and every night thereafter, Michael asked, “How many days, including today, until the rescue ferry comes to bring us home?”
Monday, August 15
We did some more wading in rock pools. We forked out €60 to see the most depressing circus ever which even the children found depressing. Mr. Waffle bought “Breton pour des Nuls”. He tells me that links with Irish are not very obvious.
Tuesday, August 16
Down by the rock pools, the princess sat on my lap, “Ouch, ouch, get off!” “What?” “You were sitting on a wasp, my knee, my knee, my knee, the pain.” “It could have been worse,” said she, “it could have been my bottom.” Indeed.
That night she and her father went back to the abbey to look at bats and hear a talk. They left at 7 and weren’t back until nearly midnight by which time I was sitting up in bed a nervous wreck. They liked the bats.
Wednesday, August 17
We finally got to the flying fish adventure centre.
Thursday, August 18
We went to the Manoir de Kernault in the morning which had an exhibition about a famous French radio broadcaster. Children are sub-optimal company for those actually hoping to hear any of the broadcasts.
We also visited a Dolmen.
My husband, at my prompting, told me that I pronounce the word “du” incorrectly. Further, I cannot pronounce the words jeu, jus and joue in a way that makes them sound at all dissimilar. I am doomed. By tacit agreement, the short lived experiment of making Mr. Waffle my French teacher was abandoned.
The Princess went horse riding again. The boys were tired of it and spent the afternoon on a merry go round instead.
Mr. Waffle and I went for dinner to an immensely elaborate restaurant entrusting the children again to the intrepid babysitter. The restaurant was in a very industrial suburb (we were able to park in the DIY superstore across the road) and the decor reminded me vaguely of a very smart hairdresser but the food was fantastic and the service excellent [none of the chilly hauteur which we encountered in Pont Aven]. “A triumph” says the Michelin guide, oh yes indeed. If you find yourself in Lorient, do not hesitate. The memory of the crab soup will remain with me forever.
Friday, August 19
We went to the beach along the path. We made still more blackberry jam. We watched the squirrels in the garden and the hermit crabs in the rock pools.
Saturday, August 20
We gave the house back to its lovely owners. They wished us bon voyage and sped us on our way with a present of a box of Breton biscuits. We went to a hotel on the way to the ferry. It had television. The children nearly died of happiness.
Sunday, August 21
We went to Bréhat a small island about 10 minutes off the coast. It sounds delightful; there are no cars, there is a delightful micro climate and it is surrounded by a spectacular archipelago.
All these things are true but, the, rather rich, home owners in Bréhat do not fancy people looking at their tasteful houses, so it mostly consists of lanes with high walls.
Mr. Waffle found it strongly reminiscent of the part of suburbia where he spent his youth in Dublin. And there are millions of tourists. It is, frankly, not untamed. Alas, not a success.
Monday, August 22
We got the rescue ferry! Michael nearly died of happiness. We met old friends on board who were moving back to Ireland after 22 years in Brussels. Ah nostalgia.
Tuesday, August 23
And we’re back. Faerie hands have painted the outside of the house while we were away – alright, Glenn the painter, then – and the sunflower had come out. Home again, home again jiggedy jig.